My Apologies

Do we apologize too much?

Do we mean it when we do?  I sometimes wonder.  We all try to get ahead. Ahead of each other. We may not realize that. To get ahead, we mean to get ahead of you.  At what point, can we stop?

I no longer need to get ahead.  It’s not that I’m finished.  With anything. I’m still trying to reach my goals.   I’m just not competing with you. Anymore.

I used to know someone like that. He was  always trying to show he’s getting ahead. No stopping him. He wanted to leave a legacy.

He wanted to be all things to all people.  What is it you want to hear? He’d tell you. Be more aggressive. Be less aggressive.  No, of course not, that’s not what he meant.  Wait a minute, yes it was.  He flipped, then he flopped.

He got to the point where he wouldn’t talk to people if he thought they wouldn’t always agree with him. He was always hurt, because he was really a nice guy and couldn’t understand why people would have a different opinion.

Today a different day? Then today it’s a different tale.  He convinced himself he was loved. Then he was convinced everyone turned on him.  He ended up being true to no one. Least of all himself.  In a short time he could be depressed, happy, angry, sad.

And he would apologize. Constantly. It was as if he felt that if he did, then everyone he hurt, stepped on , would accept him better.

I once heard him say nothing ever hurt like… fill in the blank. It was always something beyond his control.  But he would always, always apologize.

After awhile, no one listened. Or cared. He eventually left his job.  Not sure where he was headed.  I think he got burned out.  He was already well into his thirties.

My take? Be true to the truth, the reality of each situation. Not just your version. Do what’s right, not just what is expected, or convenient or expedient.  Not always easy I admit.

Where is he now? I really don’t know. I haven’t seen him in awhile. I think he discovered he didn’t have to always get ahead to make a difference.

How did I know this guy?  He used to be me.



What Happened to your Generation?

With Your generation.
Not mine.

I grew up behind the love generation. Make love, not war. That generation.
Maybe it was my generation too.

We thought we would change the world.

I thought it was pretty cool. I was cool.
But what exactly happened. To you? To me?

The war I grew up with. Many thought was wrong.

War. Poverty. Environment. Ghettos. Prejudice. Government.
Don’t trust anyone.  Over 30 or older.

We were the generation that was going to change everything.
Looking back. Did we?

Did anything happen?
What changed?

Did anything get better? I’m not sure.
Maybe I’m a cynic.
Not much did.

It’s 2016.                                                                                                                                                          And we still are facing: War. Poverty. The Environment. Ghettos. Prejudice. The Government. Today, no one trusts or even likes the candidates running for President. Maybe LBJ and Nixon weren’t so bad after all.

We were right, right?  Even righteous.
Did we sell out?

Or did we just not know what would happen?
What little control we’d have.

Am I alone?

We wanted to change the world.
Did we?

Maybe we just needed to change ourselves.
One by one.

I knew hippies.
Now everyone claims to have been one.
Age related revisionism, no doubt.
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s just the time of the season.

Any advice for you? Not from me.
You’ll have to learn on your own.


The Big Picture AND How to Deal with Bosses

This post is a 2 for 1.

Part 1
Let’s discuss The Big Picture.
Everyone talks about the big picture.
What is it?
Just how big is it?

Apologies to William S, but that really is the question.
How big is the Big Picture?

There is only one answer.
The picture is as big as it needs to be.

Why’s that?
Because it’s being said to you so you can reconsider what you will now do.
Or rather, so you can jump on board with your supervisor, aka the boss!

And that’s it.

Think of the time you last heard, “Well, I see your point. But you’ve got to look at the big picture. If we did what you suggest (insert anything you’ve ever said or wanted to do here), we’d miss out on…! (insert here whatever direction your boss wants to go today!)

That my friends is the real Big Picture.
It’s telling you that whatever it is you want is the small, narrow view while what they want is a much grander, scenic better version. You’re the black and white (which makes gray) to their technicolor.

And because it’s your boss, that’s the direction you’ll be taking.

But what if the boss is…


Part 2
Here’s how to deal with that.

First, recognize there are those employees who believe everything they’re told by the supervisor. If today they’re told the sky is green and the earth is blue well then yes it is! And if the direction given changes daily, well then that’s just the direction they must go. And they are happy to do so! These people are also hated by all.

There are also those employees who feel the need to overcompensate and advise the boss of every possible pitfall that exists. To warn about everything. Eventually these people have breakdowns because the bosses always do the opposite of what they’ve been forewarned.

I have found a way to bring both sets of employees together.
It stops the hate and the eventual breakdowns.
I’m applying for a patent now.

It’s simple too.

When I’m working I always listen to my boss. *Always.
They’re the people who are giving me direction.

But what if I don’t understand their direction? Or what if it seems yesterday’s direction is now changed today. Are they lying? Or don’t they know what they’re doing?

After a pause and a deep breath or three, I realize they are people just like me. They’re making decisions based on what they know; what direction they’re being given and often are basing their decisions on their own fears and expectations.

This also happens when the bosses are new. As they gain more experience their positions and their directions change.

It took me awhile but I discovered two universal truths in dealing with the boss.

#1 Maybe the Boss actually did know more than me! After all it is theoretically possible. Maybe they had access to the bigger picture, the wide lens view and knew of how my area fit in within the world’s (his) overall larger goal.

#2 Just maybe, they don’t know what they are talking about.

Either way, my only responsibility is to gently let them know my concerns, the risks and anticipated outcomes. And then just do what they tell me.

If I was wrong with my concerns, it’s OK. I’m now apart of the bigger universe!
And if it turns out I was I was right, I saved the day! My boss looks like a frickin genius for listening to me! Win/Win!

Dealing with your boss comes down to these 2 simple rules:
Your boss is:
1. The smartest person on the planet, knowing everything there is to know; or
2. Your boss doesn’t know sh$t.

There you have it.

No more frustration because you don’t understand the big picture, because now you do.
And you now you know the only two ways to deal with your boss.

My work here is done.
Your welcome.


*Just in case they’ve become regular readers of this blog 😉

life is negotiable…

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